Gerson Tinoco (pictured) is shown training with Guatemala as it prepares to face Antigua & Barbuda in World Cup Qualifying. (Photo: Luis Rolando Solares)
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala – Gerson Tinoco has accepted the challenge of playing for Guatemala.
The 26-year-old was born in Siguatepeque, Honduras, and grew up emulating compatriot and fellow forward Carlos Pavon – a CONCACAF legend.
After playing domestically for Liga de Ascenso clubs, Tinoco signed in 2011 with Coban Imperial, a Guatemalan second-division side. His success has been remarkable, netting 92 goals before the club was promoted for the current Apertura in which has already struck twice.
That level of production drew the attention of the Guatemala national team, especially since it has failed to score more than one goal in any of its 10 international matches this year. With a two-game World Cup Qualifying series against Antigua & Barbuda slated for next month, finding a solution to the offensive quandary became imperative.
The answer just may be Tinoco.
In accepting an invitation to play for the Chapines, his wife Lucero (a Guatemalan) and daughters were instrumental in the decision-making process.
"I come to realize a dream, knowing the double commitment I have to be nationalized,” Tinoco told CONCACAF.com in an exclusive interview. “I am grateful to Guatemala for the opportunity.
"I always had the support from my family, my friends and the fans of Coban, who have asked me to agree to play for this country.”
Although there has been some criticism about his inclusion in the squad, Tinoco is eager to give his best for Guatemala.
"The critics don’t bother me,” said Tinoco, taking the comments in stride. “I’m consenting to accept them. I'm going to give a lot of effort and repay my call to the national team with hard work and goals.”
NOTES: Tinoco is in line to become the fourth player born in Honduras to represent Guatemala after Rigoberto Gomez, Oscar Lopez and Dennis Isaula.